Managing Development Cycles

This guide will walk you through some of the features available on the Facebook Platform to help you manage the development, testing, staging, and production release of your apps.

Before getting started developing your app, you may want to take a look at our Getting Started documentation.

This guide is separated into the following sections:

  1. Develop
  2. Test
  3. Soft Launch with Geo-Restriction
  4. Full Launch

Develop

Register Your App

When you register your app with Facebook, it is set to development mode. Development mode allows you to test access to the Facebook SDKs and APIs.

While in development mode:

You can switch between modes in your app's App Dashboard.

App Roles

Next you can set up access to your app for administrators, developers, testers and analysts via Roles. People that have a role will have access to your app. You can configure and maintain your roles in the App Dashboard under the Roles tab:

People can be added by specifying their name, if they are your Facebook friend, email address, or Facebook User ID. People are not required to be Facebook friends in order to be assigned a role, but they must have a Facebook developer account.

Now that your basic settings access have been configured, you can proceed with the development of your app.

Test

Once you have completed enough functionality in your app that you are ready to test your integration with Facebook, you will need to use Test Users to go through your end to end flows and social features. Test Users are not real Facebook users and cannot interact with real Facebook users but they allow you to test features of your app without risk of interactive with the public. You can create many test users and create multiple configurations of social graphs that may be useful in your testing.

You can create Test Users in the App Dashboard under Roles > Test Users in the left side navigation panel and clicking the Add button in the upper right corner of the Test Users card. This will open a dialog where you can select how many test users you want to create, and gives you the option to authorize the app for each of them. Once created, Test Users will appear in the Test Users card.

The app dashboard allows you to make Test Users friends with each other, add them to other apps you are working on, or delete them.

If the app dashboard interface is not sufficient for your needs or you would like to create more than 4 users at a time you may want to take a look at our Test User API.

Additionally, you can invite real Facebook users to test your app, however, to be eligible as a an app tester, the person must have a Facebook developer account.

Soft Launch with Geo-Restriction

Now that your app is feature complete and has been tested, consider soft launching your app in a few specific countries before releasing it to the world. Alternatively, you may have age specific content within your app and want to restrict it to specific age ranges. You can configure these restrictions in the App Dashboard under Settings > Advanced in the App Restrictions card. Switch the Country Restricted toggle from No to Yes.

By enabling Country Restrictions and selecting countries in the Allowed Countries menu, you can restrict access to people that are only in the countries you have specified. If no countries have been added to this list, your app will be available worldwide.

By using this feature you can test how your app performs against a limited set of users in a specific location, allowing you to test and tweak your app before your full launch.

Next, to take your app live for the people in the countries you selected, change from Development mode to Live mode by toggling Off to On.

If you switch your app to Live mode before you have been approved, you will lose access to all data including that of your app, test users, test pages, and app developers and app admins.

Full Launch

Now that your app is ready for full launch there are a couple of final steps you should consider to take your content live:

If you switch your app to Live mode before you have been approved, you will lose access to all data including that of your app, test users, test pages, and app developers and app admins.